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Big Four

Big Four

by Oscar Lewis

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Here for the first time is told in a single volume one of the most remarkable stories in American history. An Eastener is never long in California without hearing something of “the big four”: four Sacramento shopkeepers—Collis P. Huntington, Lelan Stanford, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker—who got control of the newly organized Central Pacific Railroad property. These men are portrayed in Mr. Lewis’s volume vividly and with a great wealth or pertinent anecdote. Thus their true characters are revealed and the grandiose era in which they lived and operated is re-created as well. Huntington, the shrewd manipulator and lobbyist in Washington, founded the great fortune which is responsible for the magnificent library at San Marino; Leland Stanford, Governor of California and United States Senator, created Leland Stanford Junior University; Hopkins, the cold, quiet watchdog of the railroad’s treasury, kept himself out of the limelight, out of politics and scandal, yet, like the others, died enormously wealthy; while Crocker founded a dynasty of bankers still important in the affairs of California and the nation.
Oscar Lewis, a longtime authority on Californiana and secretary of the Book Club of California, spent six years gathering the material for The Big Four and writing it. The result is a definitive telling of a story that is ever fresh and ever fascinating.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307828019
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/05/2012
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 418
Sales rank: 382,195
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

OSCAR LEWIS was born in New York City in 1914 and grew up on a small farm in upstate New York. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University in 1940, and taught at Brooklyn College and Washington University before helping to found the anthropology department at the University of Illinois, where he was a professor from 1948 until his death. From his first visit to Mexico in 1943, Mexican peasants and city dwellers were among his major interests. In addition to The Children of Sanchez, his other studies of Mexican life include Life in a Mexican Village, Five Families, Pedro Martinez, and A Death in the Sanchez Family. He is also the author of La Vida: A Puerto Rican Family in the Culture of Poverty—San Juan and New York, which won the National Book Award, and Living the Revolution: An Oral History of Contemporary Cuba, with his wife, Ruth Maslow Lewis, and Susan M. Rigdon. Lewis also published widely in both academic journals and popular periodicals such as Harper’s. Some of his best-known articles were collected in Anthropological Essays (1970). The recipient of many distinguished grants and fellowships, including two Guggenheims, Lewis was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He died in 1970.

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